LIMO CUPID TAKES HIS TIME: The reservations came late for some, not at all for others, and one operator stretched Valentine’s into the entire month!
Valentine’s Day was a mixed bag of surprises this year. The fact that it fell on a Sunday was a downer, but the fact that the next day was a legal holiday for many was a plus. Five days out from Valentine’s Day, I had a total of two reservations for that day, even with a special dinner promotion I was doing with a local restaurant. It was quite depressing. My friend Tony Franzetti of Marriton Limousine in Austin, Texas was in the same boat. We discussed strategies and scratched our heads together wondering what we could do short of giving the cars away. Tony had received nearly 100 leads from Limos.com for Valentine’s Day with not one single lead panning out despite special pricing. We tried Facebook specials, MySpace specials, but nothing seemed to be working.
Then came the weekend. I don’t know how Tony ended up doing because all of a sudden we came to life ending up with 18 reservations on Friday, 15 on Saturday, and 19 reservations on Valentine’s Day.
Meanwhile, in Franklin, Kentucky, Brad Gregory of Franklin Limousine got some major media exposure. A local television station held a contest for a “Dream Wedding” and contracted Franklin Limousine to handle the transportation for the Valentine’s Day wedding ceremony. They got television spots for their participation and also handled two other weddings on Valentine’s Day, which is a full day for the four-vehicle operator. Gregory said calls for Valentine’s Day dinners were sluggish in his area as well.
In Houston, Ric Garza of R & R Limousine also discounted his rates for Valentine’s but had only a single reservation going into the weekend. He ended up being sold out by Friday night and his cars did multiple runs on Saturday and Sunday. Garza also said he is seeing an increase in business from Mardi Gras related bookings, so it didn’t really
matter to him whether Valentine’s Day panned out, but he is glad it did. The Mardi Gras event in Galveston brought so much business he had to farm work out to other operators.
American Elegance Limousine in New London, Ohio is having a great Valentine’s Day month with its “Spoil Your Spouse Spa Package” promotion that lasts the entire month. The package includes a limousine to and from a day spa, champagne/mimosas with a light Danish, a dozen red roses and full spa treatment (facial, manicure, pedicure and full body massage) with a light lunch. Business has been brisk with many mid-week packages being sold. Owner Deborah Talbott said they are making money from both the limo ride and a mark-up on spa services.
How was your Valentine’s and did you do anything special? Share you experiences by posting a comment here.
-- Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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